Command Prompt / Console / Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Greetings from the Windows Command-Line Teams, including the Windows Console and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) teams!

We’re hear to learn about the features you’d like to see in the Windows Console (the terminal app itself), Cmd and PowerShell shells, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) upon which several Linux distros now run!

Note: Please don’t file bugs & issues here: file issues on our GitHub repos instead:

Please DO post your asks, ideas, wants and needs for future features: We ARE listening, and we ARE grateful for your feedback!

Windows Console & WSL Teams.

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  1. A command to confirm that linux is running on WSL

    There are many cases where it's useful to programmatically check whether linux is "regular" linux or WSL linus. E.g., in Python calling `sys.platform` just returns `linux`, not `linux-wsl` or something like this. It'd be helpful if there were a command line argument that could reliably confirm that the platform is WSL.

    3 votes
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      3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • ConHost should support OTF fonts

      More and more fonts are OTF rather than TTF (e.g. nerdfonts.com)

      3 votes
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        0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • Support other POSIX systems, not just Linux.

        Don't just have plain Linux, but support the running of other OS such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenIndiana, not on WSL but another subsystem.

        1 vote
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          0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • Libsixel support for CMD/Powershell/WSL

          I would like native libsixel support as the only current way to run it is as per this comment https://github.com/Microsoft/WSL/issues/1099#issuecomment-248513013. If possible, this support would be for for all terminals. This would prove extremely useful in performing quick research without having to leave the terminal.

          12 votes
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            2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Make it possible to manage properties of Windows Console in specific apps

            Once you change properties in specific apps, the change you made never coordinates with the default. And there is no means to reset it to the default without directly changing the registry.
            I'd like to remove the property of PowerShell and reset it to the default.

            2 votes
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              1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • More general console color tool

              The current version of console color tool on GitHub has a very limited range of usage. It can only change colors of cmd and Powershell but not of WSL or other console programs.
              The color tool should be integrated with the console properties so that we can easily change colors of WSL or any other console programs.

              1 vote
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                0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • Copy and Paste Multiple items

                The Ability to copy multiple items at same time and paste from the copied selection items
                we can enhance the feature by adding labeling when Copying items as hints

                1 vote
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                  0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • _write fails to write non-ASCII characters to console(fd=1,2) after setlocale(LC_ALL, ".utf-8");

                  SetConsoleOutputCP(65001);
                  _write(1, u8"ENU中文\n", 10); // succeeds
                  setlocale(LC_ALL, ".utf-8");
                  _write(1, u8"ENU中文\n", 10); // fails
                  ----
                  Probably because the internal function 'write_double_translated_ansi_nolock' assumes that setlocale only supports SBCS/DBCS but not UTF-8, which is no longer true in RS4.
                  The code file: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Source\10.0.17134.0\ucrt\lowio\write.cpp

                  1 vote
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                    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • 1 vote
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                      0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • ReadConsoleA & ReadFile & 'type con' fails to read non-ASCII chars when code page is 65001

                      Note: ReadConsoleW works because it is 'code page-independent'. WSL works because of some internal workarounds.
                      Re-inventing the wheel which is an iterator translating UTF-16 to UTF-8 each individual project is rather boring.
                      This annoyes me a lot since I was interested in using UTF-8 in Windows console.

                      1 vote
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                        0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Default terminal shortcut

                        Create a shortcut (like Ctrl+Alt+T in many Linux distributions to lauch the default console). Maybe when done in an Explorer window should it navigate to the folder?

                        6 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Make it possible to choose text and background colors regardless of ANSI color palette

                          There are some people who like light-yellow background with black text or light-green text with black background.

                          1 vote
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                            0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Support installing and fully uninstalling from CMD/Powershell

                            I use Windows for about 25 years now but I never used the Windows store. Never had a reason to. I don't want to install and uninstall WSL form Windows store.

                            I'd like to install it, or fullly uninstall WSL (Ubuntu in my case) directly form CLI. I assume I'm not the only one.

                            By "full uninstall" I mean to delete all the file system, including files that were created customly , like som .sh files in the user's directory.

                            2 votes
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                              1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Selecting text shouldn't pause program

                              Many people run into the unexpected behavior that accidentally selecting text on the console causes their program to pause when it tries to write to the output stream.

                              While text is selected, the console should continue to read from the output stream, and have some different way to provide stable text selection (freeze the scrollbar, or just render the text after the selection ended?).

                              Here's some other users who probably find the current behavior unintuitive:
                              https://superuser.com/questions/555160/windows-command-prompt-freezing-on-focus
                              https://superuser.com/questions/459609/what-does-it-do-exactly-if-i-click-in-the-window-of-cmd

                              20 votes
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                                2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Improve piping & interop syntax

                                Let's say you work on windows (cmd/powershell), and you want to pipe something to linux, do something there, and pipe something out. For example, copying to clipboard cowsaying all files/folders from C\Windows starting with 's'. (Yes. Very practical example)

                                Normally, you would use this syntax
                                C:\Windows>dir | bash -c "grep '\ss'" | bash -c "cowsay" | clip

                                It would work, but it is rather verbose & it needs to have those quotation marks, which is annoying.

                                I have used a nice utility ($.exe from https://github.com/neosmart/RunInBash), which makes this look a bit better:
                                C:\Windows>dir | $ grep '\ss' | $…

                                2 votes
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                                  3 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                • Double click to enter selection mode

                                  Now the selection mode starts to work when you just click on a console window. Sometimes you don't want it, and it may cause losing of contents of the clipboard. It is better to use double click for entering this mode.

                                  6 votes
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                                    0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • xterm modifyOtherKeys - ^1 C-1 Ctrl+1 Ctrl+number

                                    Support the xterm "modifyOtherKeys" feature, so that combinations of Ctrl/Alt/Meta can be used with number keys. For example, Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2 ... Ctrl+9.

                                    Currently the terminal only supports Shift+number and Alt+number.

                                    C-1: 1 (i.e. not different form a plain 1 keystroke)
                                    C-2: ^@
                                    C-3: ^[
                                    C-4: ^\
                                    C-5: ^]
                                    C-6: ^^
                                    C-7: ^_
                                    C-8: ^?
                                    C-9: 9 (i.e. plain 9)
                                    C-0: 0 (i.e. plain 0)

                                    If "modifyOtherKeys" is set, then these keys would send:
                                    C-1: ^[[27;5;49~
                                    C-2: ^[[27;5;50~
                                    C-3: ^[[27;5;51~
                                    C-4: ^[[27;5;52~
                                    C-5: ^[[27;5;53~
                                    C-6: ^[[27;5;54~
                                    C-7: ^[[27;5;55~
                                    C-8: ^[[27;5;56~
                                    C-9: ^[[27;5;57~
                                    C-0: ^[[27;5;48~

                                    Similar keystrokes apply for Ctrl+Alt+number and Ctrl+Shift+number,…

                                    4 votes
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                                      0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Please have Vim built-in with Windows Console

                                      So instead of opening a new text editor window, it just opens with Vim inside the CLI.

                                      8 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Shift+Tab / Backtab escape

                                        iTerm (and presumably others) supports a ^[[Z~ escape sequence for Shift+Tab. I've been doing some work on PSReadLine to improve ANSI escape support, and this would be a really helpful addition for the completion commands.

                                        4 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Add "Set to default" to color tool

                                          Since shortcut settings are opaque, it can be very annoying to keep multiple terminal programs in sync. It would be nice if we could set a console to the settings we have stored in Default with one-click / command.

                                          5 votes
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                                            0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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